Poll: Where does Pitcher X Place in Cy Young Voting?

You have Player X that went 13-4 with a 2.00 ERA in 153 IP.

You have a bunch of other pitchers who pitched 216 innings and performed at various levels (see poll).

For the Cy Young voting, you would place Player X right below which pitcher?

Note: Presume the league average starting pitcher is a .500 pitcher, with a 4.00 ERA.




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David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.

137 Responses to “Poll: Where does Pitcher X Place in Cy Young Voting?”

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  1. Idiot says:

    Pitcher C is Justin Verlander.

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  2. Thomas says:

    SO/BB ratio please. If pitcher X is vogelsong/cueto or something, this significantly changes my rating.

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  3. gradygradychase says:

    Pitcher A really looks like Yu Darvish in NPB.

    (FYI I voted for him below pitcher F.)

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  4. eric says:

    i’d like FIP xFIP numbers

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  5. strongbad56 says:

    Why would anyone vote A or B?

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    • gradygradychase says:

      I guess they think the pitcher struck out 459 batters, issued 0 BB, and allowed 0 HR, but has been sooooo unlucky and as a result his earned runs were as many 34 runs.

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    • tangotiger says:

      You’d vote for “BELOW B”, if you rely only on ERA.

      There’s no reason to vote for “BELOW A” (which means above B). Pitcher B has a higher Win %, lower ERA, and more IP than Pitcher X.

      My guess is that voters selected “BELOW A” because they thought they had to select the best pitcher out of the list, and ignored the question.

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      • strongbad56 says:

        Right, that makes sense.

        At first I was thinking that this is just the same as the other poll, but I think it is slightly different. This is mainly because Cy Young does not, in its name, say that it must measure the most valuable pitcher. One could interpret it to mean just the best pitcher, which is harder to do with MVP. Therefore, it is much more justifiable to choose BELOW B since Player X pitched better than all below Player B while he pitched.

        Nevertheless, Cy Young probably should measure the most valuable pitcher, not the best pitcher, so I’ll go with below E.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        How does this argument not extend to giving the ERA to relievers simply because they have the lowest ERA? You can’t discount the impact innings pitched have on the quality of a pitcher’s season.

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  6. Eric Cioe says:

    Innings pitched are the most underrated stat for pitching. In 2007 when Sabathia and Beckett were 1-2 in Cy Young, lots of folks were clamoring about Sabathia winning because his ERA was higher (and he sucked in the ALCS). But Beckett sat out June nursing a blister, while Sabathia threw 40 (!) more innings and dragged his team into the postseason. The right pitcher won. I am against giving any award to a Harden or Volquez, who pitch 150 of outstanding ball. Give me an extra 75+ IP at a higher ERA any day.

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    • tangotiger says:

      The question in the poll is basically: how much higher of an ERA?

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      • Eric Cioe says:

        I chose after G.

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      • Yirmiyahu says:

        You’re placing our Pitcher X somewhere between G and H. If you do the math, the difference between Pitcher X and those pitchers is 63 innings (216 minus 153) at an ERA between 6.46 and 7.66. Why should he get credit for the 63 innings of extra work, when it clearly didn’t help the team?

        Sounds like you’re going too far in the opposite direction and giving too much credit for innings pitched.

        Or Pitcher X plays for the Orioles.

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    • Old Style says:

      Harden 2008 was actually my first thought on this. I personally agree that innings are generally undervalued. There are two issues I have here as well, is the 150 due purely to injury, or is the pitcher going few innings/start? I think that is also something that I haven’t seen mentioned yet. Some Value/Start is something that I think would be important to know.

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  7. Devon Young says:

    I think the W-L are shown only to try to confuse us, ’cause nobody actually uses those stats (as main stats) to base their Cy choices on.

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  8. Jose says:

    dont have to vote to know the result will be below “E”, 3.00 ERA magic number

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  9. chri521 says:

    I picked E, with that innings gap I would want to see that ERA be maintained through any “Dead arm” phases. Increasing ERA over 63 innings a whole run would mean some very mediocre pitching down the stretch (league average i dare say?)

    Like Jair would have look pretty nasty if you straight-line projected wins/era a few months ago.

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  10. JTripp says:

    Can’t wait to see all these sabermetricians squirm with no FIP or peripherals to guide them in decision making.

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    • Telo says:

      Can’t wait to see all those people who don’t like sabermetrics posting on sabermetrics sites, providing no substance at all.

      If you realized how idiotic your statement is:

      “YA

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      • Telo says:

        “Ya, those stupid sabermetrics guys want to use MORE stats to evaluate players, instead of just looking at ERA, which obviously tells you EVERYTHING about a pitcher. how dumb is that”

        then maybe you would take the time to learn about it.

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      • JTripp says:

        Are you mad? You sound mad. Obviously I like “sabr” stats if I come here but I just find it funny how lost some guys get. I know ERA is luck and defense dependent but ceteris paribus it’ll do.

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      • Telo says:

        Well, if that’s the case, then thanks for the useless comments.

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      • JTripp says:

        This is a comment section about sabermetrics and I just made a comment about their effects on some people. No war needed here. Peace.

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  11. bender says:

    I picked D. The level of dominance implied by an ERA of 2 subjectively seems better than the 2.7 even with additional innings.

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    • chri521 says:

      But you’re rewarding that on 30% less sample size of innings and we have all seen pitchers fall apart at the end of the season or get hurt. Consistent domination across a larger sample should be rewarded as part of any Cy voting no?

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      • Keith says:

        Well, it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story.

        What if the guy missed the start of the season, then came back after a couple of months 100% healthy and just mowed guys down, and it ended up being the difference in a playoff race for his team?

        More specifically: What if Player X is Adam Wainwright next year, if he returns in June and dominates?

        I chose after Player D.

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      • DCN says:

        Quick calculation – the guy with the 2.00 ERA allowed 34 ER, pitcher E allowed 64.8 ER, call it 65. So in 63 more innings, he allowed 31 more earned runs (4.43 ERA).

        What pitcher you want depends on your team. If you have a great bullpen and/or deep rotation (we don’t know if the inning deficiency is coming from missed starts or short starts), you’re probably better off with more dominance. If you’ve got bullpen troubles, or your replacement starter isn’t as good, then you want the guy who can take more of a workload.

        Keep in mind that the team needs may also have influenced stats – the guy’s ERA may well be higher because the manager kept him in longer, not trusting the pen, or because he pitched through pain.

        Without any context, I’m taking E, (which is my pick). I’ll take those extra innings, giving up a few more runs, because the replacement pitcher probably ain’t putting up 4.43. But context matters. D and E are both reasonable picks.

        By the way – wins are an awful stat by themselves, but I do like that they reward pitchers for making more starts and going deeper in games. Just like runs scored rewards getting on base. I’m sure some good decisions have accidentally been made by looking at pitching wins.

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  12. mattinm says:

    Went with below E. My gut told me that I should give a .10 ERA/FIP bump for each 10 innings different to account for the difference in load. Dunno if this is right or wrong, but player E seemed to fit the best with that gut baseline.

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  13. robertobeers says:

    If one were to assume the pitcher either started the season late or was injured in August one COULD assume he replaced/was replaced by a league average pitcher for the remaining 63 innings and 7 decisions. Doing so would give you a combined 2.53 ERA and either a 17-7 or 16-8 record, luck pending. In that case, I would lean towards using 16-8 and bumping up the ERA a bit for a pitcher of replacement level. Regardless of your method, it would be inconsistent to rank Pitcher X for another pitchers efforts. I would contend that using the combined stats wouldn’t be a statistically valid method for an ostensibly objective (note the assonance) ranking. Although, one cannot simply (walk into Mordor) extrapolate Pitcher X’s final 63 innings either. Pitcher X, who I will now refer to as Losh Lohnson, may very well be an ace but he doesn’t have the same sample size to support ranking him above pitchers who performed over a full season. Losh, therefor, should either come in somewhere between G and H for his efforts potentially provided an equal amount of positive outcomes, as judged by Wins, for his team.

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    • dnc says:

      Assuming a league average replacement is too optimistic. Unfortunately replacement level wasn’t spelled out for us in this exercise, but I’d have to think there’s a decent gap between average and replacement.

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  14. filihok says:

    Between D and E

    34 runs saved compared to a league average pitcher.

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  15. Clayton Kershaw says:

    I voted after F because I wouldn’t give X, G or H any Cy Young votes. Obviously I’m assuming that pitchers A-G and X are not all in the same league in the same year, and that there isn’t some inexplicable dearth of great pitching seasons.

    For me, innings are a critical part of Cy Young voting. Any less than 200 innings and my feeling is that he didn’t sustain his performance over a whole season, and any less than 220 (without missing a lot of starts) means that he couldn’t have really been that dominant if he only dominated for about 6 innings a start. Unless he’s putting up Pedro Martinez peripherals, then I wouldn’t consider a pitcher who averages less that 7 innings a start.

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  16. tinmanryan says:

    I missed that “Player X” had only pitched 153 innings. I *thought* (embarrassingly so, i suppose) that I had read the question thoroughly, and deduced that the purpose was to determine whether or not any Fangraphs readers value wins at all in CY voting. I put Player X below player B. But had I known he had only pitched 153 innings, I’d of probably selected E

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  17. Eric Feczko says:

    When asking people to vote, could you also instruct them not to read the comments section first? Many of the posts here may prime an independent observer towards one pick or the other. Such bias would harm the validity of the poll because it makes the assumption of observer independence invalid.

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  18. Jason says:

    I would eliminate any starting pitcher who only pitches 150 innings from contention for the Cy Young. Innings pitched is one of the most important things a pitcher can do. 5 and 6 inning starts kill bullpens. Missed starts were a fill in can only go a handful of innings kill bullpens. These starts often have repercussions in multiple games.

    Consequently, I think pitcher X should be behind all of the 200 inning pitchers, regardless of their run prevention abilities while they are pitching.

    Prior to submitting my vote, I expected the results to be bimodal, where a significant number of people placed pitcher X last like I did (and then a plurality did the math as the author intended and picked the “correct” answer).

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    • jessef says:

      That’s how I voted and what I expected to happen

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    • Jamie says:

      But what if “Pitcher X” was a June call-up? In that case he didn’t miss any starts, he just made them in triple A. Or, say, he started the season in the other league and was traded midseason, like Rick Sutcliffe in 1984?

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      • Bip says:

        It doesn’t matter why he didn’t pitch a whole season. He didn’t, and in order to be the Cy Young winner, you have to contribute a certain amount your team, and 153 innings isn’t enough.

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    • Blue says:

      This is the correct answer.

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      • Jason B says:

        Well that settles that – Blue said that was correct, thus everyone else can stop voicing their incorrect opinions.

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    • DavidB says:

      Depending on the run scoring environment, the bottom half to one third of the list wouldn’t get any consideration. The question is about how to value quality vs quantity of work. If you pitch like Walter Johnson until the end of June and then a AAA call or converted reliever takes your rotation spot how valuable do you expect that combined star/scrub performance to be?

      We already did this with hitters last week (and in real life with last year’s AL MVP). This is not rocket science.

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  19. tangotiger says:

    Sometimes I feel like I should be Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek:

    “Whatever you do, don’t pick Player A. Any other answer is reasonable. But not Player A. If you must pick Player A, re-read the question.”

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  20. Larry Bernandez says:

    Anyone else find it hilarious that player X has the same record as Ivan Nova?

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  21. jessef says:

    Look at Roy Halladay’s 2005, 12-4, 19 GS, 2.44 ERA, 141 2/3 IP, 108 K, 18 BB, FIP: 3.03, lgFIP: 4.29

    0 cy young award votes

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    • JamesDaBear says:

      But… Player X is even better than that, over more innings. And the poll isn’t asking me how the BBWAA will or did vote on Player X, it’s asking me how I’d vote for him.

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      • jessef says:

        I didn’t bring it up so much to tell people who to vote for as just to note the similarity between the situations. It is interesting that he didn’t garner even one third place vote from the BBWAA

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    • mattinm says:

      A better comp would be Joe Magrane 1988. 5-9 (so no win-loss comp), 165.1 IP, 2.18 ERA and he got zero votes, which is sad. Of course, Hershiser threw 100 more innings that season, instead of the 50 presented in the hypothetical, with a 2.26 ERA.

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      • Jason B says:

        Voters have recently begun to get over wins as a useful indicator of…much of anything, really (see: Lincecum & Felix recent Cy victories), which is a very positive development. But even with less reliance placed on the “wins” metric, I have a hard time seeing how someone with a 5-9 record is going to garner much support even now, much less 20+ years ago. We’re taking baby steps but I don’t know if the voting world is ready to support a pitcher winning 36% of their decisions :)

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  22. DMKW says:

    Pitcher X saves saves ? 33 runs above average in 153 IP. Pitcher E saves ? 31.2 during his season, and Pitcher D saves ? 37. Therefore, D>X>E

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    • DMKW says:

      (Those question marks are supposed to be approximately-equal-to symbols. Ignore them.)

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Except that unless we give pitcher X credit for his replacement being league-average, you have to dock him runs for the innings missed if you’re judging against average. Since we generally set replacement level to be 80% of league-average, I gave pitcher X 63 innings of a 5.00 ERA to measure his value against the full-season pitchers. Pitcher X had the same value as a pitcher who gave up 69 runs in 216 innings (34 runes actually allowed plus the 35 runs a replacement-level starter would allow in 63 innings). That’s a 2.88 ERA, which brings him in below Pitcher E.

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  23. AustinRHL says:

    This is a case where the math and my intuition tell me different things. The math says that a 5.00ish ERA pitcher, which is something close to replacement level, eats away at the statistics of the 2.00 ERA pitcher in his “missing” 63 innings to the point that Pitcher E is better. But even in just 153 innings, a 2.00 ERA largely supported by peripherals would be so astonishing that I would feel compelled to place him below pitcher C.

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    • tangotiger says:

      If you vote C, then you place more weight on rate stats than counting stats.

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      • AustinRHL says:

        Right, although I actually did vote E. For some reason, though, I’m much less swayed by rate statistics for hitters than for pitchers; I would only really consider the WAR leaders and not the WAR/150 leaders for position players. Is this a normal tendency?

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      • JamesDaBear says:

        We weren’t given counting stats other than innings… we weren’t given any other rate stats either. So, I don’t think you can make that conclusion.

        I simply voted for D (and can see the case for C), because I would always err towards extraordinary performance vs sustained consistency.

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      • DCN says:

        The absence of a pitcher is different than the absence of a position player. With the pitcher, it’s every fourth day you have a different guy on the mound, but the everyday players. With the position player, you’ve got a different team every game he’s missing, which has a different effect on the team.

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      • Lyle says:

        I voted “below D” – what does that say about me? I assumed the short-innings pitcher was someone like, theoretically, Lyan Logelsong.

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  24. DMKW says:

    I understand using replacement level to accurately gauge how good a player has been over any given time-frame, but I don’t understand why you would penalize a player by throwing in 63 IP worth of replacement level pitching. In Cy Young voting, we are measuring the value of a single player, not how much a team gets out of a roster spot. I don’t understand the use of projection that is going on in these threads.

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    • AustinRHL says:

      All it means is that if a pitcher throws only 153 innings, then (theoretically) the only way that the team can fill, at no cost, the 63 innings that he DIDN’T pitch is by using a replacement-level pitcher for those innings. Pitcher X can only provide value in the 153 innings he pitches; you can’t assume that a team will allocate resources to the other 63 innings, which is why you have to credit Pitcher X with 63 innings of replacement-level pitching when making an apples-to-apples comparison with a pitcher who threw 216 innings.

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      • AustinRHL says:

        Also, I should clarify that this argument refers only to value. It would be fairly reasonable, I think, to judge the Cy Young award based on something like “impressiveness,” in which case you’d probably weigh Pitcher X’s rate statistics more heavily.

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      • DMKW says:

        I still don’t understand. If you account for the 63 replacement level IP, you are no longer measuring Pitcher X’s performance, but the combined value of however many players a team uses to fulfill a single role*. Also, that method seems to also be based on the assumption that Pitcher X missed time from injury (and also the assumption that staying healthy is a skill, or a “tool”), rather than from limited use due to age-related caution or because the manager pulls them out due to bad luck, like Bumgarner.

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      • DMKW says:

        *So would you guys, at the end of the year, take the league leader in IP and adjust everyone else’s stats accordingly to make your Cy Young calculations? That seems odd to me. Maybe we should use a theoretical number of expected IP. And isn’t all of this dependent on the assumption that pitchers have complete control over the amount they get used? They have a lot of control over it, but much less so than position players.

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      • DavidB says:

        @DMKW: Yes we all know hitters pencil themselves into the lineup day after day.

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      • DMKW says:

        I got it! Using replacement level instead of average, Pitcher X saves 51 runs, Pitcher D=63, and Pitcher E=55. So I was wrong about the Run-values of the pitchers and their respective rankings. The real problem I was having, though, was that I didn’t understand why you needed to put in the extra 63 IP of replacement level pitching. I’m happy to report that I was correct — YOU DON’T NEED TO. After 153 IP, Pitcher X had saved 51 runs. If you add in ANY number of replacement level innings after that, his value in that season will always remain at 51 runs, because the replacement level pitcher, over any number of innings, will be 0 runs above replacement. Sure, the ERA will be eroded and the per-inning value goes down, but the absolute number of runs saved over the season remains static.

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      • tangotiger says:

        And that’s the point. You can add 150 innings at replacement-level performance (say ERA of 5.00), and his value remains IDENTICAL to where he was after 153 IP.

        The question is where is that repl level.

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  25. Johnny says:

    The numbers aren’t the same (perhaps by design), but this really made me think of Sabathia’s tenure as a Brewer.

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    • Sultan of Schwwingg says:

      As did I, and really, CC performance in MIL is similar to this mythical Player X. FWIW, CC placed 4th in the NL CY voting, 3rd if we remove Lidge.

      3rd behind Santana, whose numbers are similar to Player D.

      (I know that is not what this poll is about)

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    • Sabathia had an INSANE W/L record in Milwaukee.

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  26. TheGrandslamwich says:

    I assume this is a followup of the MVP value article. As such, a followup to this article will likely be used to attempt to assess value of an SP, but it will have to also take into consideration the strength of the league’s/team’s RP to create an evaluation of relative value for IP’s.

    I could be completely wrong of course.

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  27. jim says:

    i put him below pitcher H; give me those 50 additional innings any day

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    • tangotiger says:

      And if you didn’t get those extra 63 innings, how many runs do you think you would have given up?

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      • jim says:

        i’m not really sure, to be honest. if the missed innings were say at the beginning of the season due to TJ recovery, then i would probably place more value on X, raising him to below D, i think. but the way i read it to begin with, in my mind the innings were missing from the end of the year, and i didn’t like that. so like others above, i guess i just assumed that those extra 60 IP would be filled by a replacement level starter, which shifted me towards the starter i had all year even though he might not have been as shiny.

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      • DavidB says:

        @Jim: Your AAA call-up would have to have a ERA/FIP over 7.00 for H to be more valuable.

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  28. Tyler says:

    Where is the button for “Not Enough Information”

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  29. DGU says:

    Is the better question:
    Cy Young is an award marking the best pitcher of the year. For eligibility, how good does a pitcher have to be if he has missed a quarter of the season? Assume there is at least one Pitcher D as competition. How good would Pitcher X have to be to get your vote?

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    • tangotiger says:

      It’s another way to ask the question. It’s fine to ask it that way.

      I prefer my method.

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      • DGU says:

        lol – of course!

        But is the Cy Young award for the player who was the most valuable pitcher within a season?

        Or is the Cy Young award for the player who performed the best over the course of a season?

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      • Kevin S. says:

        You just described the same pitcher with two different phrasings.

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      • tangotiger says:

        The only guidance is on the trophy itself: Most Outstanding Pitcher.

        You choose that to mean what you will…

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      • DGU says:

        Re: Kevin –
        I do not think so. I think there is a difference between a
        Player Y who pitches 160 innings at 2.00 ERA and does not play, for whatever reason,
        and Player Z who pitches 160 innings at 2.00 ERA and 50 more innings at 5.00 ERA.

        For those players’ teams, it may amount to much the same thing, but for the players themselves, one pitched and the other did not. Simply pitching in the major leagues is an accomplishment.

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      • DGU says:

        Re: tangotier
        The other guidance is the year on the trophy. The award is for a season long effort. If a pitcher managed to pitch an entire month without giving up a hit, he would have accomplished the most remarkable pitching feat I have seen and he would win pitcher of the month hands down. But if that was the only month he pitched, I would not vote for him for Cy Young.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        But the first pitcher didn’t perform over the course of a season – he only performed over the course of 3/4 of a season. IP are part of performance.

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  30. Joeyheynow says:

    The Pitcher should be between Pitchers D and E.

    Here is why…

    If the average pitcher’s ERA is 4.00; therefore, the expected number of ER for a pitcher is given by…

    (4.00) * (IP) / (9)

    The expected ER for pitchers A-H, 96.

    The expected ER for pitcher X is 68.

    If you subtract the pitcher’s ER from his expected ER, you quantify how much better or worse a pitcher performed relative to the average.

    So in this case…

    A 60
    B 52.8
    C 45.6
    D 38.4
    X 34
    E 31.2
    F 24
    G 16.8
    H 8.4

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    • Joeyheynow says:

      Please ignore my erroneous use of “therefore” in the above post.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      The problem with your method is it argues for a league-average inning being without value. A pitcher who saves 34 runs above average over 216 innings is significantly more valuable than one who saves 34 runs above average over 153.

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      • Joeyheynow says:

        See below…

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      • Joeyheynow says:

        Add an additional 63 IP and 28 ER (replacement level) to Player X in the above scenario…

        The results will be the exact same because the replacement player will have no difference in ER and expected ER.

        The expected ER for pitchers A-H & X, 96.

        Player X has 34 ER in 153 IP. We add 28 ER and 63 IP (replacement level).

        This makes Player X: 216 IP (153+62) and 62 ER (34+28)

        You get the exact same results…

        A 60
        B 52.8
        C 45.6
        D 38.4
        X 34
        E 31.2
        F 24
        G 16.8
        H 8.4

        He still belongs between D and E.

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      • tangotiger says:

        4.00 ERA (28 runs in 63 innings) is league average.

        5.00 ERA (35 runs) is replacement level.

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      • Joeyheynow says:

        I was not familiar with the definition…

        So if replacement level is defined as average * .8. Add an additional 63 IP and 35 ER (replacement level) to Player X in the above scenario…

        Player X has 34 ER in 153 IP. We add 35 ER and 63 IP (replacement level).

        This makes Player X: 216 IP (153+62) and 69 ER (34+35)

        You get the following results…

        A 60
        B 52.8
        C 45.6
        D 38.4
        E 31.2
        X 27
        F 24
        G 16.8
        H 8.4

        Between E and F.

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      • ToddM says:

        Replacement level calculations, while fruitful, have no place in a MLB front office. They’re similar to “rational man” calculations in economics, in that the ideal never happens, and every situation is different.

        For example, if you’re Jurrjens, replacement level for your missed innings may end up being getting Delgado’d or Vizcaino’d or Teheran’d and Pipp’d right off the team in the off-season to live a less-satisfying life in the baseball BFE of Kansas City or Pittsburgh.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        A) This exercise was about awards-voting, not personnel decision-making.

        B) Jurrjens’ Atlanta replacements, theoretical replacements, and potential-suitor replacements are all relevant to the decision-making process regarding his fate with the team.

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      • ToddM says:

        This comment was not about this exercise. This comment was about your comment. A pitcher that saves 34 runs above average in 216 innings is NOT significantly more valuable to the Braves then one who saves 34 runs abouve average over 153. In fact, he’s less valuable.

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  31. Dr. Rockzo says:

    I do think one issue I have with this moreso than the MVP option is that a replacement pitcher is going to be worse obviously, but not likely to carry the same load as the original starting pitcher. Assuming that when healthy, player X would pitch the additional 63 innings, the replacement pitcher would not likely fill the exact same role.

    I understand the thought experiment, but a replacement pitcher is much less likely to pitch the full 63 innings and thus place more emphasis on bullpen usage while player X is away than when he is healthy. Even if the replacement and player x places the actual value of the combined pitcher between D and E, the innings pitched themselves have value.

    I understand the point to determine the value of a replacement over a period of time, but there is an inherent value in innings. Innings pitched and Batters Faced is more of an issue with value for pitchers than defensive innings or PAs are for hitters. Haven’t teams been willing to pay for pitchers who have shown at least they typically stay healthy?

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    • Joeyheynow says:

      Add an addition 63 IP and 28 ER (replacement level) to Player X in the above scenario…

      The results will be the exact same because the replacement player will have no difference in ER and expected ER.

      The expected ER for pitchers A-H & X, 96.

      Player X has 34 ER in 153 IP. We add 28 ER and 63 IP (replacement level).

      This makes Player X: 216 IP (153+62) and 62 ER (34+28)

      You get the exact same results…

      A 60
      B 52.8
      C 45.6
      D 38.4
      X 34
      E 31.2
      F 24
      G 16.8
      H 8.4

      He still belongs between D and E.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        No, because average is not the same as replacement. Replacement-level is generally set to 80% of average, so 63 replacement-level innings are going to yield 28/.8=35 runs. That drops pitcher X behind pitcher E.

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      • Dr. Rockzo says:

        I understand what production a replacement pitcher would provide over the missing 63 innings, but it’s less likely that a replacement pitcher actually fills those 63 innings.

        A replacement pitcher is less likely to make it deeper into games as the point when he becomes less effective compared to the bullpen will be earlier than the original pitcher.

        As I said, I understand the point of the exercise, but realistically you are going to end up using the bullpen more often in the absence of Player X. The assumption of the exercise is based on the fact that the replacement will be allowed to carry the full workload that had been expected of player X.

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      • Joeyheynow says:

        So if replacement level is defined as average * .8. Add an additional 63 IP and 35 ER (replacement level) to Player X in the above scenario…

        Player X has 34 ER in 153 IP. We add 35 ER and 63 IP (replacement level).

        This makes Player X: 216 IP (153+62) and 69 ER (34+35)

        You get the following results…

        A 60
        B 52.8
        C 45.6
        D 38.4
        E 31.2
        X 27
        F 24
        G 16.8
        H 8.4

        Between E and F.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        Are we to assume that the additional bullpen innings will be of the same caliber that the bullpen had been providing? Not necessarily, especially since it’s more likely that the soft underbelly that is middle relief will be the ones picking up the slack. The pitcher on pace for 216 IP in 32 GS is already turning the game over to the top couple relievers, since he’s averaging 6.75 IP/GS. But that’s not even entirely relevant, because we shouldn’t be giving the missing starter credit for what the bullpen does, even if the excess innings are picked up entirely by the relief aces, any moreso than we should be giving him credit for his replacement being better than replacement-level.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        A) This exercise was about awards-voting, not personnel decision-making.

        B) Jurrjens’ Atlanta replacements, theoretical replacements, and potential-suitor replacements are all relevant to the decision-making process regarding his fate with the team.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        Bah! Replied in the wrong spot.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • It was one of the main arguments cited by Atlanta in signing Derek Lowe despite his age.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. annoying says:

    Jesus christ make it so much more difficult then it needs to be. Fangraph writers are like annoying bitches. Jesus just vote on what you know

    -9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. Joeyheynow says:

    Typo:

    This makes Player X: 216 IP (153+63) and 62 ER (34+28)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. Lee says:

    153 ip equals last for ms

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  35. beansie says:

    It’s an old riddle among scouts the pitcher is actually a reliever and that’s over 3 years everyone should pick h

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  36. Blue says:

    Not eligible for my Cy Young vote. Over a hundred starters had more IP last year than this guy.

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  37. Andrew says:

    For the 63 additional innings, 28 ER (4.00 ERA) is not replacement level. It’s league average, which is above replacement level.

    Replacement level is often quoted as a team that wins 35% of its games, or a .350 winning percentage. Obviously an average team wins 50% of its games. .500/.350 approximately equals 1.43, which is the multiplier I used along with 4.00 to get a replacement level ERA of 5.71. Over 63 innings, that’s 40 earned runs. From the 153 actual innings at a 2.00 ERA you have 34 earned runs. That’s a total of 74 earned runs over 216 innings, or an ERA of 3.08. Win-loss record is irrelevant, so I’d place Player X right below Pitcher F, who had a 3.00 ERA.

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    • tangotiger says:

      It’s not clear that replacement level needs to be used. After all, it’s for Most Outstanding Pitcher.

      And even if replacement level needs to be used, it’s not clear what level that should be. It’s irrelevant what’s most often quoted. The poll is about YOUR opinion.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Andrew says:

        If the sole purpose of the exercise is to crowdsource the value of innings pitched, why does David even bother to include the league average ERA? If the award is about value, then it makes complete sense to establish a replacement level. If the award is about skill, then none of the information given seems particularly useful. I believe unequivocally that Roy Halladay is the most skilled pitcher in the National League, regardless of whether Johnny Cueto happened to pitch the exact same number of innings at Halladay this year with his current ERA.

        For me, the award is about the most incredible single-season pitching performance. And since I think that peripherals are an important part of that, I’d want to know whether pitcher X above was striking out 11 batters per nine and walking only one and merely got unlucky on home runs, or whether pitcher A was pitching in front of an infield that included Ozzie Smith, Brooks Robinson, Joe Gordon, and Keith Hernandez.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tangotiger says:

        Presume his peripherals (K, BB, HR, H) are in-line with the stated W/L, ERA. Presume average hitting, bullpen support. Presume neutral park.

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  38. Feeding the Abscess says:

    Why is 216 IP used for the hypothetical pitchers? 15 pitchers eclipsed that mark in 2010, 14 in 2009, 11 in 2008… there are typically a handful of guys who eclipse the 230 IP mark with relative ease, and they are usually some of the very best in the game, guys who finish the year in the running for the Cy Young.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Andrew says:

      I believe that David chose the numbers he did because when you do the math, all the answers come out to nice, round numbers.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • tangotiger says:

      It’s a thought exercise. No one said anything about the other 140 starters in the league. Just these 9 pitchers were pulled out.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  39. gabriel says:

    I’ll jump in to note that I’m one voter who did a bit of mental balancing between the value the pitcher provided and his strong rate stats. A value/dominance balance, if you will. Mentally, I sort of regressed his numbers due to the 1/4 season he missed (my assumption on why only 153 innings) and added in a small “missed innings” penalty. Regression sort of put me at about a 2.20 era pitcher, while I penalized for his missed innings to about 2.50. The regression I connected to dominance (I think of 2.00 era over 153 as being about as impressive as 2.20era over 216 innings); the “missed innings” penalty was a way of penalizing for his lack of value to his team – but I didn’t want to attribute his “missed innings” burden to the team directly as a cost to him, so the penalty I placed is only some proportion of the replacement value cost.

    Also, I had a similar approach to the MVP question (even though the standard for that award implies a full accounting of replacement cost); though I think I attributed to the player there a higher proportion of the replacement cost.

    Hope this helps.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  40. Kris says:

    Cool poll, bro.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  41. pft says:

    IP are a huge part of the Cy Young (just like games played are supposed to be a big part of MVP per the official guidelines).

    I would hesitate to vote for any SP’er with fewer than 200 IP, or maybe 180 today.

    Whatever innings are not pitched by the candidate are made up by SP’ers or bullpen with an average ERA of 4+ in most years. 153 IP is like missing 1/3 of the season.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  42. Test Maker (seriously) says:

    The problem is that the poll question isn’t specific. You say “you place him BELOW which pitcher”. If I put down A, how am I wrong? I think pitcher X is below A, but that doesn’t preclude pitcher X also being below B, C, D, etc.

    People who chose A are not purely noise. They could be people who are capable of the exercise, but they misunderstood it at first. They see player X’s stats and see player A’s stats and say “of course I would put him below player A!”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • tangotiger says:

      In the poll on my blog, I had “right below”. I didn’t notice that David did not include the word “right”.

      Presumably, people have taken enough tests as to give their best answer in the face of ambiguity.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  43. Michael says:

    I voted B. I considered this pitcher as one who didn’t pitch the whole season. This was we’re not seeing 34 starts of 5 IP and 1 earned run. (Imagine an effective Scott Kazmir?). So I considered two possibilities:
    1. This player was injured/ in the minors to start the year, gets called up, and preforms at this high a level. I was thinking particurally of Strasburg in this regard.
    2. The player was traded from AL to NL or vice versa, and only logged 153 innings in the league were he finished the season eligible for the award. Like if CC was traded earlier to the Brewers in 2008.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  44. Jim says:

    The answer depends entirely on how many guys he picked off of first base versus the number who stole second, adjusted by the number who also stole third, divided by his WHIP, and then adjusted for the number of home vs away innings.

    This was all worked out long ago folks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  45. Zach says:

    Im assuming this is like the poll from the other day. If you assume the innings player X misses are replaced by a “league average” pitcher the total number performance of that rotation spot would be an ERA closer to 3

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